I don’t sell enough books to make a living, mostly because I’ve never been much good at self promotion. But, increasingly, also because I’m not a cheat, it seems.
You can help independent authors like me- real people, writing because it’s what they love to do- fight back. If you’ve read one of my books, and enjoyed it, please leave a review. They feed into Amazon’s* algorithms, pushing my books up lists and getting them in front of more potential customers. If you didn’t like the book, contact me directly, and I’ll take the criticisms on board and try to do better next time.
If you think it’s cool that one of your friends is an author, show that appreciation by buying one (or more) of their books. They cost less than that pint you were going to buy them the next time you’re in a pub together. Sales push books up the charts, another way to raise a book’s profile and get it seen by more potential customers.
I can’t ask that you stop buying the churned material barfed out by scammers. Part of the scam is that customers don’t know they’re being scammed until it’s too late.
*Other ebook sites exist. My books are available from most of them, as well.